“Whose Children Go to Bridge International Academies: a School Choice for the Middle Class in Ijegun, Lagos”
On Wednesday 11th October, ActionAid Nigeria, together with CSACEFA and the Nigerian Union of Teachers launched the report “Whose Children Go to Bridge International Academies: a School Choice for the Middle Class in Ijegun, Lagos”. The report is based on intensive research by Dr Joanna Harma in the first school opened by BIA in Lagos. The study centred on who is paying to access Bridge International Academies (BIA) and whether they can be described as poor. Some of the key findings in the report echo previous research on Bridge that the schools do not reach the poorest in Africa but rather target the lower middle class. Further, the research evidenced the lack of Bridge to legally register its schools as well as lack of transparency. Although the quality of education offered by BIA was out of scope of this research, it is remarked upon that there is no clear evidence elsewhere on the quality of education provided.
A unique report in itself, the research sought to understand the views and perceptions of BIA from community members. Parents with children enrolled at BIA were among those interviewed. In a bid to answer the main research question- who is sending their children to BIA, the report details that "nearly all parents interviewed were ranging from relatively well-off to average of the area. Many of them were highly educated and many more had finished secondary schooling(or beyond) than is characteristic for the city as a whole."
The report thus concludes that although the parents with children at BIA are not rich, they are equally not poor. It is argued that international funding that subsidizes the operations of BIA does not go to provide education to the poor, rather it "serves to support differentiated demand...the entry of another private school into an already fully saturated market."
The report can be accessed here.